Australia’s national education evidence body

Promoting equity for multilingual children in early childhood: Research report

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Australian early childhood education and care (ECEC) settings are increasingly linguistically diverse. About 1 in 4 children including First Nations children speak a language other than English at home. However, while many multilingual children thrive in ECEC, those who are not proficient in English at the start of school experience developmental vulnerability at significantly higher rates.

This report by the Australian Education Research Organisation (AERO) uses national early childhood datasets to explore experiences – in ECEC and at home – that appear to contribute to more equitable outcomes for emerging multilingual children. These datasets include the Australian Early Development Census, linked through the Australian Government Department of Education and the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Multi-Agency Data Integration Program First Five Years dataset.

The aim of this research is to provide system decision-makers with insights for improving ECEC policy and practice to achieve equitable learning and development outcomes for emerging multilingual children who are being left behind.

Publication date
23 October 2023
Last updated
23 October 2023
Bryn Lampe, Bridget Healey, Luke Collier and Jen Jackson
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